' ories. not guilty in a french court. dominique strauss-kahn with restitution involvement. there is a lack of evidence against the former imf chief. france opens an investigation over the germanwings crash. and the boston telecom giant orange apologizes to israel over a growing boycott scandal. to top stories. kate moody will be here and will explain why zimbabwe has decided to bid farewell to its national
currency. plus, the latest from the international press. molly: we begin in france, where ad court has acquitted former top politician dominique strauss-kahn. the x imf chief was charged with involvement in a prostitution ring. the three-week trial aired all his dirty laundry but was not enough to find the man guilty. many had hoped that strauss-kahn would become france's next president. our correspondent reports now. >> really to no surprises, dominique strauss-kahn, the former president of the imf, has been cleared. the charges against him were
procuring prostitutes, of maintaining and encouraging a prostitution ring. judges ruled they have not enough evidence or proof of that. it is true he took part in evenings where it now appears there were prostitutes present, but there is no proof that he knew they were prostitutes and never paid any money before partaking in those evenings. there were seven prostitutes involved, dating from 2008 to 2011. in all of those evenings, he said he had no idea and there were other people as well that said they, too, were unaware that prostitutes were present. throughout the three weeks of trial, the prostitutes -- it was said they would have to be naive. he is known as the king of the party, that he got whatever he wanted whatever he wanted it. he is the 11th person out of the 14 co-accused, and he has been
cleared. the belgian man who runs a number of strip clubs in dalton also has been cleared, and that brought quite a surprise to the court. people thought he might get at least a year suspended sentence. molly co.: it was on the prosecutors to prove that strauss-kahn did indeed no, and they were criticized for their handling of the case. even: the case has gone on for so many years, and they were investigating magistrates back in 2011 who said it should be turned out of course because there is not that there is not enough proof . the lead prosecutor said there was not enough to implicate dominique strauss-kahn as
maintaining this prostitution ring. his main defense was that he never paid the money. the other 13 codefendants back him up on this, that they were the ones who paid the women to take part and they hid such dealings from dominique strauss-kahn. the judge also alluded to the fact that some of them came from belgium, and then will -- and when they were hired, it happened in belgium, not france, and that is not being judged here today. mollyy: that was even irvine. we have just seen, doug, that he wasn't -- that he was acquitted of the case. it was not morality, it was about french law. >> for people who were not following the case, they might have said if it were just about the rally, it might have been an open and shut case. like you said, it was not about
any of that. dominique strauss-kahn admitted that he had participated in what the french called what could be translated as "sex parties." he was a man, in sordid detail, was very matter of fact at times. he said, "yes, i enjoyed rough sex," being libertine in your habits. the issues were not that. the issues really were that in france, prostitution is not illegal. paying for sex is not illegal. what is illegal is what the french would call involvement in a prostitution ring. helping, aging, or assisting someone yourself to procure prostitutes, for yourself or someone else, that is illegal. on monday of this week, they sort of dropped their civil cases against dominique
strauss-kahn, on the grounds that even they, despite what they acknowledge was humiliating testimony showing some rather sordid sex encounters, they said that even they could not find any absolutely damning proof or evidence that dominique strauss-kahn had known he was involved in a prostitution ring. at the end of the day, that is what the judge had to go on. that under french law would have been the only crime. molly: that being said, dominique strauss-kahn was the former head of the imf, picked by many to the next -- to be the next president of france. what is next? doug: this caps on nearly four-year-long process. we have to wind back to 2011 when dominique strauss-kahn was sitting in a first-class seat, hauled off and airline and charged with sexually assaulting a hotel chambermaid.
those charges were ultimately dropped by the new york district attorney, cyrus lance, and the same thing today like of evidence. but it gave rise to the french being shocked at the time. they saw the perp walk dominique strauss-kahn, being marched around by the police. it had never been seen before. it raises questions. he has been through the ringer, really walked the legal gauntlet between that case and this case, which went on for several months. french attitudes obviously will never be the same again. if it has been a taboo before to delve into the private lives of public figures, it is pretty much going to be open game for other politicians. it is interesting to note, while dominique strauss-kahn -- and this could be another question you might have -- what happens to him now? if he can be considered politically dead, in the sense that his residential prospects once a presidential hopeful, probably that is not a on to happen anymore -- probably that
is not going to happen anymore. but a poll showed that 79% of french still thought that while he did not -- they did not see him as president one day, they still thought he had a role to play, that he was a competent economist, that he could contribute to the french debate. he might not be a politician, but the french still think he has a role to play. politically dead, but very much alive in their minds. molly: we will have to see though. dominique strauss-kahn acquitted in court. douglas, thank you very much for that. after more than two months of waiting, the first funerals for the victim of the germanwings crash are being held in germany. families have been prevented from burying their loved ones, due to spelling errors on death certificates. the copilot apparently flew the plane into the french alps on
march 24. french authorities are expanding their probe and investigating over whether anyone is guilty of manslaughter. this after it was revealed that andreas lubitz saw 41 doctors over the past five years. our correspondent has details. >> how did a pilot with a history of mental stability -- mental instability and of sitting at the controls of the passenger jet? authorities are trying to see if it was a crime allowing him to fly. >> between fairbury 21 and march 22 -- between february 21 and march 22, he had five visits. >> the different doctors included psychiatrists and ophthalmologists, but germany's privacy law says that none of the conditions -- none of the physicians had to report that to employers. >> the copilot told his doctor
he was so worried about his eyesight problems that he could not sleep at night. he even told one of his friends that given this loss of vision, his life had become meaningless for him. >> exactly white andreas lubitz steered the plane into the alps remains a mystery. under the fresh -- the french judicial system, prosecutors cannot indict a dead suspect. the inquiry is to see if mistakes were made in monitoring his health that his mental health and if anyone could be responsible for manslaughter. >> we felt the prosecutor's regrets over the possibility to open and murder inquiry. >> last month a preliminary report confirms the pilot had carefully prepared and rehearsed the crash. the eu is studying the report to consider whether to update aviation safety laws. molly: germany has dropped its
investigation into u.s. phone tapping. relations between washington and berlin were badly strained after edward snowden leaked documents exposing spying by the u.s. national security agency. everyone from german citizens to the chancellor, angela merkel, were alleged victims of the spying. jessica saltz is standing by in berlin. tell us about the decision to drop the investigation. jessica: the investigation into angela merkel being monitored by the u.s. will be formally dropped because of a lack of evidence. the statement from the prosecutor leading the inquiry -- as evidence, they were using documents that were leaked by edward snowden just as angela merkel may have been under surveillance but do not suggest them strongly enough to be proved.
also, these were documents that were printed in the media, and those leading the inquiry were unable to get their hands on the documents that they needed. when it came to leading the investigation, the u.s. was not forthcoming in helping the german courts. perhaps unsurprisingly, which meant they were unable to get much further in retrieving the documents they needed to continue the investigation. other evidence included so-called vague quotes by u.s. officials that suggested angela merkel was under mass surveillance. according to the statement, this was not enough to stand up in court as proof. just over a year ago in june 2014 already in december, 2014 there were signs that the investigation was going nowhere fast. they were worried, prosecutors that they did not have enough evidence to keep the case going.
however, they did for another six months, and it was formally closed today. molly: what is the reaction we will likely see from the german government? jessica: i do nothing the german government will be surprised or disappointed. there was a huge outcry in germany from people and from the government about this in 2013 and angela merkel did confront barack obama in 2013. any strain between berlin and washington really has to fall by the wayside because the two countries had to work together to overcome the crisis in ukraine. this always felt like an afterthought, certainly not enough -- also in court -- in light of recent allegations they may have been helping the
u.s. by u.s. officials -- by you and officials. i do nothing the german government really will be too disappointed or outraged that this case is now closed. as surveillance experts put in a couple of months ago, perhaps seriously but perhaps realistically -- who knows -- everyone is spying on everyone, and there is no use thinking otherwise. molly: jessica, thank you so much for that update from berlin. now the latest on the telecom giant, orange. ahead of the country is meeting with israeli prime mr. benjamin netanyahu. he is smiling -- he is trying to overcome damage. here is olivia salazar when spare.
olivia: this shows the group's commitment to the country. rachelle wasthat the french telecoms operator has been accused of wanting to boycott israel. he says that is something he did the regrets. the telecom firm partners license to use the orange brand. remarks that were interpreted as a dilbert ricotta of israel -- a deliberate boycott of israel, sparking outrage from the israeli government. >> this absurd spectacle with the state of israel, a democracy that respects human rights, defends itself against rocket attacks and then gets automatic condemnation and boycott attempts, this observed situation will not be -- this absurd situation will not be forgiven.
>> he says they were not political but part of orange's commercial strategy. it is not the only row at the possible boycott. u.k. chain woolworth's has come under pressure from the bbs movement not to sell israeli products. the initiative seeks to apply political pressure by withholding support from the sports culture and academic sectors, encouraging investors to place their money elsewhere. >> the movements inspired by the apartheid regime in south africa, the objective is to put an end to israel's impunity because it is constantly violating international law by continuing its illegal occupation in the territories. >> israeli authorities have brushed off bds in the past, but now it is a cause for concern.
president reuven rivlin has called it strategic and said that bds constitutes anti-semitism. molly: it is time for a business update. i am joined by kate moody. we have greece, the deadline coming up at the end of the month. they have to pay their bills for the bailout agreement. what are we seeing in the latest developments there? kate: on thursday evening the imf left negotiations in brussels saying they were not getting anywhere in the greek government reform proposals were not enough to release the next round of bailout funds. that brings concern that the standoff will continue. we have heard from the greek government that technical talks have continued but they are ready to intensify efforts on a political level as well. angela merkel says all sides
must show the will to negotiate. greece has to step up to the table. european commissioner -- european commission president jean-claude juncker says that negotiations have reached a dead end. june 18 is when the next euro meeting will be coming. that uncertainty has been weighing on the markets for days, and most of europe's major indices are trading lower this friday. the athens stock exchanges down about 3% in midday trading. you can see red across the board. french energy from alstom is seeing its shares declined 1.5% after the group said it would continue providing evidence to european authorities.
greece continues to struggle. but the german economy tells a different story. volkswagen has been single that is a national success story. it's -- pw continues to dominate the market. we take a look. >> while some fear the car industry is in decline, for volkswagen das auto is very much on the rise. sales have increased 36% in the last five years. it is the leader of the european car market, with 24%, far ahead of its french competitors. that is success partly to its loyal customers. it has a good -- >> it is a good reputation. before i had a golf and it was a very reliable call -- a very
reliable car. >> in 2006, employees were asked to work eight hours extra each. as compensation, they are entitled to an annual bonus based on the company results. that can go up to six or 7 -- 6000 or 7000 euros. volkswagen employees have good reason to accept the positions. for each car sold in 2012, the company made 916 euros in profit, compared to just 65 for renault. profits that allow the company to reinvest, like these. they are not stopping there. the german car leader plans to invest 85 billion euros in the next four years to modernize its production lines. kate: zimbabwe dollar central bank will begin removing the
zimbabwean dollar from circulation. inflation has soared in the past six years or so, and the country has been using in formally a number of foreign currencies, including the u.s. dollar. zimbabweans have until the end of september to exchange local bank notes. they can be cashed in for five am note -- the last bank note was 100 trillion, a lot of zeros. there is the equivalent of 40 american cents. twitter's chief executive, dick costolo is stepping down. jack dorsey will take the reins on a temporary basis.
twitter is looking for a new ceo, and an unlikely candidate has thrown his hat into the ring. snoop dogg has announced that he would like to take on the challenge. his bid is already gaining a lot of traction. the #snoopforceo. this may be a rather unorthodox job application, but you never know what could happen. molly: kate moody with the day's business news. thank you for that. it is time for our press review. we are taking a look at what is grabbing headlines around world papers. hi flo. you are going to start us off in burma. tell us. flo: front page news in china. you can read about it in "china
data -- china daily. xi jinping, welcomes her her first official visit in china. her visit boosts the bonds of neighbors. her visit helps more channels of given occasion and cements mutual trust between burma and china. molly: that vision is getting -- that visit is getting attention outside china. flo: it is surprising the pro-democracy activists would get such a warm welcome. we can take a look at an article in "time," saying she got red carpet treatment. she is a pro-democracy activist. what is going on behind the scenes here? there is an interesting piece in "the wall street journal" that
says the fact that china is engaging with this pro-democracy icon is truth of a shift in foreign policy to a more nuanced foreign policy to better protect china's interest abroad. keep in mind, the general election is scheduled in burma for the end of the year, either october or november. no date has been set yet. there is a chance that sue kyi could be elected. from the chinese perspective, not having a relationship with her is a problem. molly: certainly this engagement is raising a few eyebrows. flo: why is she engaging with beijing? an interesting piece in "the christian science monitor tom: points out," asks why she is engaging with beijing. this marks a transition from opposition icon and nobel laureate into a pragmatic asian
politician. molly: let's turn to saudi arabia. flo: last may the 31-year-old blogger was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1000 lashes for insulting islam. he received the first set of 50 lashes in january, but his sentence was postponed on medical grounds. this week the saudi arabia supreme court of held the sentence. that means that these weekly lashes will resume. you can see right here, it says that his wife fears he will not actually survive another set of lashes. what is interesting is "the new york times" their editorial yesterday, called for clemency saying the decision of the supreme court is really equivalent to a death sentence for the crime of freedom of expression.